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Monday, June 25, 2007

$562 million

The Olmert-Barak-Livni government voted today to transfer $562 million to 'moderate' 'Palestinian President' Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen's rump government, despite the risk that the money will find its way into Hamas' coffers in the event of another unity government. Prime Minister Ehud K. Olmert claims that the funds transfer will open a 'window of opportunity in the peace piece by piece process. As those of you who are regular readers know already, it is nonsense to pretend that the money will only go to Hamas in the event that there is another 'unity government'; the 'Palestinians' have already said that the money will be used to pay 'salaries,' especially those of the 'security forces,' which include Hamas members.

According to Arutz Sheva,
The first installment of the transfer is expected to be handed over within the next few days. The government was assured that the transfer is to be accompanied by the establishment of an "oversight mechanism" that will supposedly ensure that they do not fall into terrorist hands.

The funds in question are tax monies collected by Israel for the PA from residents of eastern Jerusalem. They were frozen after the Hamas won the PA elections in 2006.

The money transfer will be the chief "gesture" the government intends to present to Abbas in Monday's regional summit meeting at Sharm el-Sheikh. Diplomatic sources said there was no intention at the moment to hand over more weapons and ammunition to Abbas, but hinted that Israel would be forthcoming if asked by American mediator Keith Dayton to take additional steps – presumably, to ease restrictions on movement in Judea and Samaria.
Only two cabinet ministers voted against the transfer: Yisrael Beiteinu's (Israel Our Home's) Avigdor Lieberman and Aaron Abramovitch. Although they have been roundly attacked by Knesset members from the right for funding terror by staying in the government, Lieberman said his party will stay in the government to influence the government from within keep Lieberman's big fat butt in his cabinet seat.

Another 'right wing' party that sits in the government - and that voted in favor of the transfer of funds - is the Shas party. Their leader, Eli Yishai, attempted to appease delude his voters this evening that by handing over the money in stages, "we will be able to ensure if Abu Mazen's strengthening is only declarative… If he does not get stronger we will stop transferring money." Right. Just like we stopped transferring land to Arafat when he didn't fulfill his commitments under Oslo in the mid-90's and like we 'knew how to respond' to the terror attacks of 2000-02 and like we will 'respond forcefully' if anyone shoots rockets from Gaza on our cities after 2005. Sorry, but Shas and Yisrael Beiteinu have no excuse for staying in the government.

Then again, the National Religious Party half of National Union/National Religious Party is like the pot calling the kettle black (which is why they merged with the more ideologically pure National Union): They sat in Sharon's government until it was too late to stop the expulsion of the Jews from Gaza two years ago.

And you all wonder why Olmert remains in power?
Update 7:50 PM (Boston time)

YNet is reporting that Olmert is "not ruling out the possibility of transferring military equipment, including armored vehicles and bulletproof vests to the Palestinians." But YNet reports that many ministers are opposed to transferring weapons to Fatah:
Olmert's position on the matter opposes the position of many of the cabinet's minister. Among the opposing minister are newly appointed Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, two Yisrael Beitenu ministers and Shas ministers.

National Infrastructure Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer said during the discussion, "Lessons should be learned from previous weapon transfers. All the weapons we have transferred to Fatah eventually made their way to Hamas and were turned against us."

Before the weekly cabinet meeting, Olmert attempted to justify his position, saying, "Some two months ago Israel approved the recommendations of General Dayton to supply weapons to Fatah forces in Gaza. This equipment included armor, bulletproof vests and other items that are not weapons, including uniforms and tents.

"This equipment however was not transferred to Fatah, even before Gaza fell to Hamas. Therefore, if General Dayton recommends transferring equipment to Fatah forces in the West Bank, this can definitely be considered positivelty."

Olmert then made it clear that “this is in no way about the transfer of weapons, but of supplemental military equipment.

“This equipment is of no danger to the Israeli forces, even if in the future it may fall into enemy hands,” the prime minister said.
Maybe Olmert should just transfer weapons to Abu Mazen again. After all, it's been so successful in the past....


At 3:09 AM, Blogger Daniel said...

to quote an American talking head:

fatah are moderate Jew killing extremists.
Hamas are extreme Jew killing extremists.

At 3:30 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Next time anyone refers to "am chofshi" in a well-known song, or "reisheet tzemichat geulatenu" in a well-known prayer, he should reflect on exactly how subservient the Israeli government is to foreign nations.


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